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Boris Artzybasheff Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Artzybasheff, Boris, 1899-1965
Title: Boris Artzybasheff Papers
Dates: 1893-1966
Quantity: 4.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Spanning 1893 to 1966, the Boris Artzybasheff Papers comprises biographical material, correspondence, artwork, writings, and memorabilia of the Russian-American artist (1899-1965), who is perhaps most widely known for the more than 200 covers of Time magazine he produced between 1941 and 1965. Illuminating Artzybasheff's unique and versatile artistic style as well as his life as an immigrant in the United States, the collection documents the career of the illustrator, painter, designer, and author.
Language: English, Russian
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Arranged chronologically, the Correspondence (Box 1) consists of incoming and outgoing letters in Russian and French as well as English. Letters bearing the dates 1918 through 1923 are largely in Russian, most likely to and from Artzybasheff's mother, who was residing in Constantinople at the time. Correspondents during the remaining years (1934-1965) include literary figures (Edward H. Dodd; Charles G. Finney; William McCleery), advertising agencies (Daniel and Charles, Inc.; Shaller-Rubin Company, Inc.), and Time magazine. A selected index to the Correspondence follows the box list.

Artwork (Boxes 1-3) encompasses original book illustrations, two paintings, reproductions, research material, signatures, and sketches. Reproductions, which account for the bulk of the collection, are categorized by both format and subject. Personal greeting cards, book and magazine illustrations, and three-dimensional figures constitute Reproductions (by format). Book illustrations are arranged by book title when known. While magazine illustrations (mostly cover art) list each periodical title in the collection in which Artzybasheff's artwork appears, many of these items are cross-referenced to the subject Technology. Reproductions (by subject) categorizes images as Portraits, Technology, War images, and Miscellany. Images are identified by the name of the portrait subject, the client for which Artzybasheff produced advertising, the title of the periodical in which his work was displayed, or the title of the image as provided by Artzybasheff. Oversize Package #1 houses a variety of artwork, specifically, original book illustrations, a painting on wood, and large-format reproductions.

Writings (Box 4) consists of autobiographical reminiscences, three essays, two journals describing Artzybasheff's painting technique (including Time magazine portraits), one journal in Russian, and a published speech.

Memorabilia (Boxes 4-5) includes artwork by others, awards, calendars, personal documents, a price list of drawings, photographs of Artzybasheff and others, printed material, and miscellaneous typefaces. Printed material contains articles about Artzybasheff (1928-1954), newspaper clippings (1920-1965), a Russian newspaper (1937), several exhibition catalogs and announcements (1931-1966), book and artwork reviews (1922-1956), and documentation of Time magazine's 40th anniversary, which includes photographs of Artzybasheff. A genealogical record of the Southard family belonging to Artzybasheff's wife, Elisabeth Southard Snyder, and five periodicals are stored in Oversize Package #1.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Artzybasheff, Boris, 1899-1965.

Associated Titles



American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Commercial art.
Commercial artists -- United States.
Engravers -- United States.
Illustration of books -- United States -- 20th century.
Illustrators -- United States.
Machinery in art.
Magazine covers.
Magazine illustration -- 20th century.
Painters -- United States.
Painting -- Technique.
Painting, American.
Portrait painters.
Portrait painting -- 20th century.
Russian Americans.
Technology in art.

Genres and Forms

Book illustrations.
Calendars (documents)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Exhibition catalogs.
Periodical illustrations.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Boris Artzybasheff Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: ASE
Date: Jun 1993
Revision history: 12 Jun 2005 - EAD file created (MRR); 21 Jul 2014 - Avco items added (MRC); 2 Dec 2016 - Pan Am item added (PB); 27 Nov 2017 - rehoused, inventory corrected (MS)

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Biographical material
Box 1 Biographical material
Box 1 Correspondence 1918-1965, undated (2 folders)
See also Selected Index to Correspondence
Illustrations (book) (original)
Oversize 1 Nansen
Oversize 2 Untitled
Box 1 "NM illustrators' White & Cool Black"
Oversize 1 "Scarlet Lake & BP" 16 Jun 1963 - painting on wood
Oversize 3 Greeting cards, personal 1946-1954, undated
Illustrations, books
Box 1 The adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan 1935
Box 1 Nansen
Oversize 1 Nansen
Oversize 3 Various, by title, A-Z
Oversize 1 Untitled
Includes illustrations for "Midsummer Night's Dream," "The Night Before," and "Origin of the Flying Saucers"
Illustrations, magazine
See also Reproductions by subject, below, for other examples of cover art.
Oversize 2 American Artist cover art
Box 1 Colophon cover art
Oversize 3 Fortune cover art Apr. 1941
See also Artwork Reproductions (by subject): Technology: Union Carbide & Carbon Corp.
Oversize 3 Life articles 1947, undated
Box 1 Medical Economics Jan 1953
Box 1 New Hope cover art (photocopy) Sep 1933
Box 1 Time cover art 1941-1953
Box 1 Time cover art, "Farmer Warren North" 1959,
Oversize 2 Time cover art undated
Box 1 Time cover art [?] undated - photographs
Box 1 Three-dimensional figures, photographs of undated
Reproductions by subject
Box 1 Burr, Harold Saxton, The Yale Journal of Biology & Medicine cover Dec 1957
Oversize 4 Caribbean faces 1948-1949, undated - advertising from Alcoa Steamship Company, Inc.
See also Artwork Research Material: West Indies.
Oversize 1 Caribbean faces, larger format items - advertising from Alcoa Steamship Company, Inc.
See also Artwork Research Material: West Indies.
Box 1 Dalton, Dorothy 1921
Box 1 Doenitz, Karl, Der Spiegel cover 1961
Box 1 Freud, Sigmund, Columbia Library Columns cover
Oversize 4 Jones, Jesse H.
Oversize 4 Smith, Howard K.
See also Technology: CBS News, "Election Night, 1960" (Howard K. Smith), below.
Oversize 4 Alcoa (Aluminum Company of America) advertising - includes photographs
Box 1 American Airlines advertising
Box 1 Atlas Copco advertising
Oversize 1 Atlas Copco advertising, larger format
Oversize 2 Avco advertising (2 folders)
Oversize 3 Avco advertising
Oversize 3 CBS News, "Election Night, 1960" (Howard K. Smith) 1960
Box 1 Conway Associates International, Inc. advertising
Box 1 Dateline cover art
Box 1 Dun's Review and Modern Industry cover art June 1959
Oversize 3 "Executive of the Future" 1952, 1956, 1961, 1966
Cover art from Esquire, Apr. 1952; Overflow Mar. 1956; Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago) program announcement, 1961; Senior Science, Sept. 1966
Oversize 3 Haloid Xerox Inc. advertising
Box 1 "Improved Design for Modern Man" 1950
Box 1 "Jimmy Doolittle's 'Flying Engine' ", Esquire cover art 5 Sep 1932
Box 1 Machine Design cover art 10 May 1962
Oversize 3 Nation's Business cover art Mar 1951, Jun 1953
Box 1 "New Quick-think Lawyer" 1954
Oversize 1 "New Quick-think Lawyer" 1954
Box 1 Production cover art Sep 1960
Box 1 Railway Express Agency, Inc. advertising
Box 1 St. Paul Insurance Companies advertising 1965
Oversize 1 Shell X-100 Motor Oil advertising
Oversize 2 [John] Sutherland Prod's Inc. - includes storyboards for television commercial
Box 1 Time subscription advertising
Box 1 "The Twentieth Century Physician"
Oversize 4 Union Carbide & Carbon Corp., Fortune cover art
Box 1 Wickwire Spencer Steel Corp.
Oversize 2 Wickwire Spencer Steel Corp.
Oversize 4 Miscellany
War images
Box 1 Hartford (Conn.) advertising for scrap metal drive
Oversize 3 Vultee Aircraft, Inc. advertising
Oversize 2 Wickwire Spencer Steel Corp. "Ain't going to study war no more..."
Box 1 Miscellany
Oversize 2 Miscellany
Oversize 2 "Anxiety, Frustration, Repressed Hostility"
Oversize 3 "Art Director, as seen by Artzybasheff"
Box 2 Ex Libris Studio advertising 1919
Box 2 "A Flag for the United Nations" 1945
Oversize 1 Frankfort Distillers Corp. advertising for Paul Jones
Box 2 [Chas. M.] Higgins & Co., Inc. advertising for Higgins' American Drawing Inks
Oversize 2 "Indecision, Timidity, Infantilism"
Box 2 Logan Drinking Cup Co. advertising for Ajax and Aero Sanitary Drinking Cups
Box 2 "Man Coddling His Ulcers"
Box 2 "Naught so sweet as Melancholy" 1954
Oversize 2 Pan American World Airways advertising
Map-Case Pan American World Airways advertising - poster
Oversize 3 Parker Pen Company advertising 1947, undated
Box 2 The Russian Eagle menu
Box 2 The Russian Inn menu
Oversize 4 Time advertising 1950, 1952, undated
See also Technology: Time subscription advertising, above.
Oversize 3 "We Are Getting to the Bottom of It" 1948
Box 2 Wisconsin (State) advertising
Box 2 Worthy Paper Company advertising
Box 2 Miscellaneous images
Oversize 1 Miscellaneous images
Box 2 Research material (West Indies) undated - photographs, Alcoa Steamship Company, Inc. advertising (3 folders)
Box 2 Signatures
Sketches (original), pencil
Box 2 Sketches (original), pencil and watercolor - includes research material
Box 2 Autobiographical - holograph, typescript notes, reminiscences (2 folders)
Box 3 "The Fan Mail of Boris Artzybasheff" Jul 1937 - Published in Esquire
Box 3 "The Magnificent Umpfs" - holograph draft
Box 3 "The Purgatory" - typescript ms. drafts with holograph corrections
Journals, artwork 1957-1965 (2 items)
Box 3 Journal, Russian 1919
Speech, "Let George Do It!" Dec. 5, 1940 - Trade Book Clinic, New York, ; published 1941
Artwork by others
Box 3 Originals 1946, undated - caricature sketches (5), silhouette (1)
Box 3 Reproductions undated
Box 3 Awards 1954, 1961
Box 3 Calendars 1955-1958
Oversize 4 Calendars 1959-1965
Box 3 Financial material - price list of drawings, miscellany
Oversize 2 Genealogical record, Southard family - belonging to wife, Elisabeth Southard Snyder
Box 3 Artzybasheff, Boris undated (3 folders)
See also Printed material: Time 40th anniversary
Box 4 Family, friends, and landscapes undated
Printed material
Box 4 Articles about 1928-1954, undated
Box 4 Book, An illustrated introduction to psychoanalysis by Kenji Ohtsuki - gift from author, for use of Artzybasheff illustration, p. 191; in Japanese
Box 4 Clippings 1920-1965, undated (2 folders)
Box 4 Clippings, Russian newspaper 1937
Box 4 Exhibition catalogs, announcements 1931-1966, undated
Box 4 Periodical, Kaiser Aluminum News 1966 - 5 issues
Box 4 Reviews 1922-1939, 1956, undated
Box 4 Time 40th anniversary 1963 - including photographs
Oversize 3 Time, "Famous Faces of Forty Years" 1963
Oversize 3 Typefaces
Box 4 Miscellanea 1893-1962, undated - certificates, personal documents, identification cards, passports, visas, miscellany (some in Russian)
Oversize 4 Miscellanea 1893-1962, undated - certificates, personal documents, identification cards, passports, visas, miscellany (some in Russian)

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Selected index to correspondence

  • Daniel and Charles, Inc. : 1965 Mar. 9 (outgoing typescript); 1965 Mar. 12
  • Dodd, Edward H. : 1964 June 2
  • Finney, Charles G. : 1935 July 7; 1936 Sept. 8 (writings attached)
  • McCleery, William : 1965 Jan. 5; 1965 Jan. 15 (outgoing carbon); 1965 Feb. 8; 1965 Mar. 17
  • National Historic Shrines Foundation, Inc. : 1965 Feb. 17
  • Princeton University : see McCleery, William
  • Shaller-Rubin Company, Inc. : 1965 Apr. 15
  • Thompson, Ralph and Marcia : 1956 Jan. 2 (outgoing holograph); 1958 Aug. (outgoing holograph); 1962 Mar. 12 (outgoing holograph); undated (2 outgoing holograph letters, 1 from wife Betty)
  • Time : 1964 Sept. 15; 1964 Sept. 21; 1964 Sept. 28; 1964 Oct. 30; 1965 Feb. 4
  • United States. Department of State : 1920 Nov. 13 (re: visa for mother)

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